Providing physical, mental well-being
As a Sewing Department Manager at a local Hobby Lobby, I found it ironic that an article on the closing of Hobby Lobby was juxtaposed with the article, “Shortage of PPE hits home health.” During March, numerous customers bought entire bolts of fabric, equaling 10 to 12 yards. Nearly my entire supply of elastic was snapped up. In my six years at Hobby Lobby, this kind of buying was unprecedented.
These customers proudly explained to me that they were making masks and gowns. One mother told me that her daughter, a health care worker in California, pleaded with her to make masks because Hobby Lobby was already closed in her state. Giving of her own money and time, this mother and selfless people like her, reminded me of the women who rolled bandages during World War I.
Other parents found our wide variety of craft kits, model kits, science kits, art kits, puzzles, and educational books to be valuable resources for their children. Some adults remarked to me that sewing or doing a craft relieved their anxiety. Several customers said, “You can only watch so much television!” They were bored, too!
As an employee of Hobby Lobby, I was impressed how the company took measures to protect employees and customers alike. They set up vinyl barriers at each cash register to avoid transmitting the virus. Tape on the floor indicated where customers should stand while waiting in line to check out so that they would be six feet apart. We were provided with disinfecting spray for use on frequently-touched areas, hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks.
It’s short-sighted for the Health Department to close Hobby Lobby — a store that could provide the essential supplies that they, and others, need. I think the Health Department should consider the physical and mental well-being of our community before shutting down a store that helps us live creative, healthy lives.
Must have honest conversations
Finally we have someone in Vickie Tonkins that will posit a question that many of us want people who have a public voice to ask. “What’s really going on here?” Yes, the virus is real. Yes, it’s highly contagious. Yes, it’s deadly. Yes, we need to treat it differently than normal and take very serious precautions.
We also need to employ some common sense. And ask questions. I just read the email sent to Vicki by the so-called Republican leadership. Typical weak-kneed, weanie, go-along to get-along seemingly “high-road” baloney. Those that signed it hope it will make them look good. It doesn’t. All you who signed it look pathetic and weak.
State Rep. Dave Williams and State Sen. Owen Hill stuck their necks out and have the courage and fortitude to not only defend Vicki, but are willing to have an honest conversation. We have to ask tough questions now more than ever. We have to have honest conversations. Our very way of life is being threatened by group-think and fear. It’s as if the Left in this country wants us think that if we do everything they say no one will die. It just isn’t so.
I know we aren’t supposed to say this out loud, brace yourself, here I go. Suffering and death has always been part of the human condition. We can’t shut down the economy with no plan to restart. Poverty is far more deadly than any virus.
A knee-jerk reaction
I am disappointed in the reaction to the question Vickie Tonkins posted. Granted, I feel she probably should have included the reason for her question. But, there is a lot of “information” out there on social media and the internet claiming this pandemic is a big hoax. And there are just as many accusations as to who is to blame along with as many reasons why they think it is a hoax.
I believe the government, although perhaps well-intentioned, has gone a little too far. Requiring businesses to close because “they are not essential” is overreach. For example, a retailer should have the choice of staying open with limited access, as many are. The bottom line is that it should be the choice of that business. It is always the choice of the customers to shop there or not. One huge mistake was forcing businesses like Hobby Lobby and Michaels to close. Those stores sell merchandise that provide activities to keep kids and adults busy and entertained – at home! Parents would likely welcome having their kids working on craft projects.
I support Vickie. I know her heart. She strongly supports the GOP. And so do I. She does not deserve the overreaction of the nasty email she was sent. I am very disappointed in those who signed that email. She should have been asked why she posted what she did. A clarification of those reasons should have followed her post. Shame on you who had a knee-jerk reaction and jumped to “guilty until proved innocent”. She wasn’t even given the option to “prove innocence”.
A wasteland without connectivity
In response to the article “Disconnect: Those without broadband struggle in a stuck-at-home nation” dated April 1. The article notes the difficulty of “rural communities” lack of support from phone and cable companies to invest to provide service. I live in south Black Forest; 7 miles from a Walmart, 2 miles from a CenturyLink building off Burgess Road and cannot get a DSL/broadband line. I am 500 feet from the nearest connect to CenturyLink and they will not run it to my home or the other approximately 20 homes on my road. I have poor to no service from AT&T and so sit in a wasteland with lack of connectedness. And streaming- forget it!
Thank goodness my children are through school in District 20; online classes would be impossible. I must “sync in” to a VPN network twice a day; my satellite internet is so slow I have nominal to no success some days. Don’t let them fool you that satellite can replace your DSL/broadband: it can’t, is very expensive, and has limited data available. The article indicates broadband average cost of $58/month — I pay a significantly higher rate than that with Hughes Net for crappy service (have looked onto other providers, no good options).
I do not understand why phone companies who provide our “19th century technology — the phone” — are not required to supply high speed to the homes they serve. Where have they spent the government subsidies and why have the local and federal governments not required companies to infill areas that exist, versus only building infrastructure to new neighborhoods? This is an age of technology — it should be required.